UK Hopes to Heal More Kentuckians, Educate More Physicians

This piece of land in Bowling Green, Kentucky
will soon be home to the UK College of Medicine’s new medical school program. The goal? Increase the overall number of physicians
in the Commonwealth while preparing them to address the specific health disparities of
our state. I think the regional medical campus in Bowling
Green offers a really exciting opportunity for a batch of young students to come in and
essentially lay the ground work for everything that campus does going forward. Based on their experiences, that’s what’s
going to shape everything going forward from there. I think it also offers a unique opportunity
because they are also going to be directly shaping the health care in that region for
years to come. This four-year, regional campus medical school
is the first of its kind in Kentucky and is available through a unique partnership between
the University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University and The Medical Center. I think there are a lot of reasons that future
students should be excited about the Bowling Green campus. The biggest is students from that particular
part of the state will be able to go to medical school and hopefully return to practice medicine
in their communities without having to leave where they’re from. One of the benefits of this collaboration
is the ability to grab students from WKU, the Gatton Academy and plug them in while
they are still in high school and college. These students, once accepted, will have the
opportunity to shadow physicians be able to participate in community health events, get
specialized test preparation while having guaranteed acceptance into medical school
as long as they maintain their grades, participate and meet the threshold score on their medical
college admission tests. With this satellite program, UK is able to
take on more medical students while keeping class sizes small. With more than 300 physicians and a 337-bed
acute care facility at the Medical Center, students will receive more personalized attention
while working in a hands-on team environment. I think this is going to be great for students
in the sense that they are going to get a very, kind of regional, community-centered care. They are going to learn more one on one, it’s
going to be a smaller class size. You’re also going to have more direct contacts
with the community you’re immersed in. The team setting in medicine at a teaching hospital, to me, improves
health care because rather than seeing just a single person that
is in charge of a patient’s health care, you have a team of people that are all collaborating
and bringing unique ideas to the table. And while Lexington, home of UK’s main campus,
has much to offer, Bowling Green is a major hub in south central Kentucky for education,
health care and culture. There are significant advantages to attending
school and working in a smaller city that is experiencing tremendous growth. I think the main thing that really makes Bowling
Green stand out is that it is a welcoming environment…a place where people want to visit… a place where, actually people from all over the world are, Bowling Green houses the International Center. I went to a high school with 27 different
nationalities and got exposed to people from all over the world in the center of Bowling
Green, Kentucky. I really learned a lot about what community
means in my home town. Bowling Green is a great city first and foremost because of the people, and it’s rapidly growing all the time. It’s already the third largest city in Kentucky and I think the future is an exciting time because
I really feel like this is only the beginning and we are going to continue to see more and
more improvements in education and health care being brought into the city of Bowling
Green and make it a competitor. With Kentucky home to a host of major health
disparities, and a shortage of physicians across the state, students will have the opportunity
to make an impact in the community while earning their degree. By encouraging students to live elsewhere
in the state, the UK College of Medicine’s satellite programs can better prepare students
to handle real-life issues they will likely face in their medical career. I think one of the things I learned when
living in Kentucky is the fact that there are some areas that don’t have access to health care
and I think having this regional sites will really address this need for physicians
and the need to provide health care. This new program again highlights UK’s role
as the state’s land-grant institution: educating a new generation of Kentuckians to care for
their own. Kentucky means a great deal to me, as someone
born in the state of Kentucky and having lived in different parts of the state, Kentucky
is home. So, the chance to have a UK College of Medicine
campus in Bowling Green is an amazing opportunity to reach out to another part of the state
that is home.

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